Vanuatu Judo at the Olympics

With the London Olympic Games under 100 days away, not many people know that Vanuatu’s heavy weight Judo player has actually qualified for the Olympics. Nazario Fiakaifonu is an exceptional athlete that has legitimately qualified for his Olympic position. After gaining experience competing at the 2011 World Championships in Paris, France & the 2011 World Cup in Apia, Samoa, Nazario has qualified through the Continental quota process. Once the top ranked world Judoka (Judo players) have qualified for the Olympics, the second round of qualification begins. This is call the Continental Qualification Quota. The Oceania Judo Union is allocated positions for the 10 highest ranked Judoka regardless of weight division or gender. There are places for 3 women & 7 men. A maximum of one athlete per nation & two athletes per category can qualify through the Union quota.

Nazario has been training for the past two years with his Judo instructors ‘Vanuatu’s Professor of Judo’ Reynald Perrin & National Head Coach Ted Drew. Training four days a week at the French Tennis Club, Nazario & his coaches have been working on the technical side of his Judo, training from a standing position, throws, grappling & submissions, all part of a Judokas tool box. Nazario has also been involved in an intensive Strength & Conditioning program with his Strength & Conditioning Coach Brett Wright from PowerHouse Performance. Working 3 days a week in the gym & 2 alternate conditioning sessions per week. All sessions programmed for Nazario are specific to physique & Judo needs. His natural strength combined with his increased power, hand grip & forearm strength has made Nazario a very explosive & dynamic athlete.

Nazario said “I am very proud as a Ni-Vanuatu to represent my country. I was born in Vanuatu, went to school here, learnt Judo here, work here & now have the opportunity to compete at the Olympics for my country”. Nazario also mentioned “like all athletes, financially it is very tough to compete & train at an elite international level, but I am trying very hard to give this my best shot. I work full time at AJC & am very thankful to all my sponsors – PowerHouse Performance, AJC, PEPSI, UNELCO & Bred Bank who are helping me greatly in my Judo career. I would also like to thank Mark McMahon, Dorothy Wright & Philippe Gardais who have volunteered their time as my training partners in my conditioning training” If there is anyone that is interested in more information about either Nazario or the Vanuatu Judo Federation please contact on Nazario.fiakaifonu@hotmail.com or president@judo-vanuatu.com respectively.

Nazario will be in Cairns, Australia for the Oceania Championships from the 25th April – 2nd May with 3 other Vanuatu Judokas & his two Judo instructors.

Let us all wish them well.

PowerHouse Performance




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